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Broadside ballad entitled 'A Day wi' the Rabbits at West Preston, Kirkbean'




A Blackbird, a Craw, a Swan, and a Lamb
Ae day wi' the Forrester met on the Sands ;
Says the yin to the ither, " the rabbits are thrang ;
" Could we no' get a day to gie them a bang ?"

So it was agreed to the Forrest to gang,
To talk owre the matter and ha' a bit dram ;
The Blackie he sang and the Swan he did swear,
They'd shoot any two for a fiver or mair.

The day it was fixed and duly came roun',
But, oh, what a day !?rain and snaw baith came doon ;
But this didna stop them, they out with their guns,
And in wi' the ferrits to a' likely runs;

The Blackie and Swan gaed awa' by the Mills,
The Lamb and the Craw gaed wi' Bob to the Hills ;
The Forrester wi' Pears gaed down the Burnside,
Wi' the Wyllie auld fox to act as chief guide.

Out, out came the rabbits ; bang, bang went the guns ;
Then, Oh ! the loud laughter, and Oh ! the rare fun ;
To see the two Cracks could miss an old Buck?
Of course, no' bad shooting, but cursed bad luck.

They shot and they shot, till driven off by the rain,
Then they bethought them to count out the game ;
Each claimed his due share, some tried to claim more ;
Then came the swearing, and the Lamb was a " Bore."

When each had his say, came a sough frae the Mills,
The Blackie shot well, but the Swan had more kills ;
But Pears swore by a" things baith dead and alive,
That Forrester killed more than ony o' the five.

The Wyllie old fox held the cat's-----to the sun,
Then Pears swore the more by the Forrester's gun ;

He swore by the sun, the moon, and the day,
Bold Forrester had only let four away.

The Craw he was sick frae the night's-before drinking,
His hand wasna steady, his een were blink, blinking ;
But he swore it was only because o' his drought?
He'd shoot ony one of them for a' they were worth.

The Lamb, in his usual nice quiet style,
Said never a word till they got off their bile ;
When wee Robin Red Breast caused a great row
By swearing the Lamb let away only tow.

Then the Wyllie old fox thought it time to disperse,
And hoped soon to meet them again on the Merse ;
So after hand-shaking they a' left the Park,
Resolved to get home before it was dark.

The Lamb and the Swan both gaed the ae gaet,
Arrived duly home before it was late ;
The other three swore by the George they were dry,
So to quench their bit thirst they thought they would try.

And its rumoured about that when they sat down,
The talk it grew loud and the drink it flew roun';
That when they got up they were no' very steady,
But lucky for them it was dark in the city.

But this must be false, and untrue every line,
For the Blackie drinks only a wee drap o' wine ;
The Forrester sticks to auld Scotia's creation,
And the Craw he drinks only in due moderation.

So I canna believe that the rumour's correct,'
For we never would charge them wi' such like neglect;
But perhaps it is better the curtain should fall
On the fact they got home about half-past twal.

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Probable date of publication: 1880-1900   shelfmark: APS.4.90.37
Broadside ballad entitled 'A Day wi' the Rabbits at West Preston, Kirkbean'
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